Best Cable Lat Pulldown Machines Review October 2018

Best Cable Lat Pulldown Machines Review 2018

updated October 5, 2018

Adding a high pulley cable machine to your home gym will open up a whole new world of resistance exercise. Not only will you be able to blast your back with lat pulldowns, but tricep pushdowns, cable curls, upright rows and a whole host of other constant tension moves will be within your grasp. The quality on offer, however, is decidedly mixed. In this article we discover the top Lat Pulldown machines on the market.

The best lat pulldown machine on the market today is the Powertec Fitness Lat Machine  which has a slimline design built into the machine, allowing the set to be locked into position or pivoted outward. Our next favorite is the Valor Fitness CB-12, with its high tension nylon pulleys, solid construction and 250 pound plate capacity.

A Quick Overview of the Top 10

Lat Pulldown Benefits

The lat pulldown machine is a multipurpose unit that will bring the benefits of cable exercise into your home gym. As well as the basic lat pulldown, you’ll be able to do such exercises as triceps pushdowns, cable curls, upright rowing and seated rowing. This allows you to stretch, contract and expand the muscles of your upper body in a way that you can’t get with free weights.

A major benefit of doing cable resistance exercises is that they provide you with constant resistance in both the positive (lifting) and the negative (lowering) portion of the exercise. That allows you to place a lot more tension on the muscle through the entire range of motion. Using cables also forces you to follow the proper line of motion when doing an exercise, so you can’t cheat your way through a rep.

  • Additional benefit of cable exercise
  • Able to do a range of exercise for various muscle groups
  • Allows to stretch, contract and expand the muscles
  • Provide constant resistance in lifting as well as dropping motions
  • Allows to properly follow line of motion

Our favorite budget pulldown machine is the PLA200X Lat Attachment from Powerline, which gives you a solid frame, high and low pulleys and a smooth cable motion for well under three hundred dollars!

To help you to make a wise buying decision, we’ve rated the Top 10 on the basis of price and durability. We’b then given each one an overall rating out of 5. In the following section we provide in depth reviews of each product.​

Review of the Best Lat Pulldown Machines

Pulldown Lat Machine

The Powertec Fitness Lat Pulldown machine is a stylish, slimline cable machine that provides you with a very smooth glide motion through the cabling. This is a plate loaded lat pulldown machine. It features unique load slide rods which allow easy accessibility, precise gliding and smooth operation. Ring stoppers on the slide rods prevent the weight from over extending.

The seat of the Powertec Fitness Lat Pulldown is actually built into the machine, allowing the set to be locked into position or pivoted outward to open the machine for more exercise options.

PROS

  • Slimline design
  • Load slide rods
  • Pivoting seat

CONS

  • Weight stack not provided
Loading Lat Pull Down

The Valor Fitness CB-12 is a free weight machine that has a sturdy square tubing frame made of two inch by to inch, twelve gauge tubing. It has a low pulley, which comes with it’s own short bar handle. You are able to add 250 pounds of weight plates onto this machine and it even comes with plates storage pins. These also act as a counter balance when doing low cable exercises.

The seat on the Valor Fitness CB-12 is made of high density foam and is contoured for comfort. You can adjust the seat to four positions to provide just the right degree of extension. The high tension nylon pulleys are very durable and provide a smooth operation.

PROS

  • Solid square tube frame
  • 250 pound weight capacity
  • High tension nylon pulleys

CONS

  • Difficult to assemble
Family Lat/row Machine

The Family Lat /Row Machine by New York Barbell has a sturdy two by two inch, 1/8 inch thick heavy gauge steel frame. It features both a high and low pulley, along with a flip down foot plate for doing seated rowing. The double stitched seat has deluxe padding for extra comfort. 8 inch foam rollers lock your knees in position while doing lat pulldowns.

The cable on New York Barbell machine is nylon with a heavy duty coating. When teamed up with the quality bushings used, the result is a smooth, fluid cable movement on both high and low pulleys. The machine is easy to assemble and takes up very little space. This unit is exceptionally well priced, making it our best value cable pulldown bar machine.

PROS

  • Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Fluid cable motion
  • Well priced

CONS

  • Not counter balanced very well
Lat Machine

Powerline PLM 180X

The Powerline PLM 180X is a free weight lat pulldown machine. It also has a low pulley to allow you to do such exercises as seated rows and cable curls. The nylon bushings in the pulley system are patented to provide the smoothest operation. This means that there is no jerkiness with the risk of the cable coming off the pulley.

The PLM 180X lat machine has dual position 8 inch foam rollers to secure you in position as you perform the exercise. The wide grip curved bar allows you to get a great stretch on your lats. The design of the lat tower provides you with a greater range of motion than most machines offer, allowing you to work through a full contraction and extension.

PROS

  • Low pulley
  • Smooth nylon bushings
  • Extended range of motion

CONS

  • No counter balance when doing exercises like cable curls
Lat Pulldown machine

The Rogue Fitness Stand alone Lat Pulldown machine is heavy duty beast of a machine designed for the serious weight trainer. It features 3 inch x 3 inch 11-gauge steel framing that can be affixed to the wall (a power rack attachment model os also available). It comes with a 300 pound weight stack that goes up in increments of 10 pounds. The high and low pulleys all features 6 inch wheels with UHMW covers.

The Monster Lat Pulldown machine comes with a stainless steel black pulldown bar, a diamond tread adjustable footplate, custom built carabiners and an extra comfortable ergonomically designed seat with leg lock pad. Overall this unit is commercial gym quality, but be warned - it has a price to match!

PROS

  • High and low pulley
  • 3 x 3 inch, 11 gauge steel framing
  • 300 pound weight stack

CONS

  • Expensive
Lat Attachment

The Powerline PLA200X is a lat attachment for the PPR200X. This extremely solid and secure attachment comes with a both a high and low pulley station. The one inch diameter weight post will take both standard and olympic weights plates. This attachment features nylon coated, aircraft quality 2200-pound test cables. The unit measures 84 inches in height and comes with a lifetime warranty.

The Powerline PLA200X features quality bushings and cable to provide a very smooth motion. It is very easy to set up the attachment, which is a great space saver when you are restricted for space. Triceps pushdowns can also be done very effectively on this machine.

PROS

  • Space saving
  • High spec nylon bushing
  • Cost effective option

CONS

  • No leg brace
Giant Econo Lat Machine

The Giant Econo lateral pull down machine is a free weight loading unit that comes with weight slider floats and nylon bushings. This ensures that you get an impressively free range of motion, without any stickiness or jarring. The frame is solidly constructed of chrome tubing, providing the robustness and durability you need when you’re handling heavy weight. Seated rowing can be done to best effect with the diamond ribbed foot plate.

When you buy the Giant Econo plate loaded lat pulldown machine you get two bars - a wide lat pulldown and a short cable curl bar. Quick cable change technology and bar storage on the main frame add to the functionality of this unit. The leg brace on the Giant Econo lat machine has three height options to provide ideal range of motion.

PROS

  • Weight slider floats
  • Chrome tubing
  • Ribbed foot plate

CONS

  • Poor counter balancing
XMark Lat Pulldown

The XMark plate loaded lat pulldown exercise machine comes with both a high and low pulley. It has an impressive 400 pound weight stack capacity. It can be used with both conventional and olympic plates, thanks to the two 14 inch olympic plate adaptors which are included. The square steel mainframe is made from 11 gauge, two by three inch steel. A scratch resistant powder coated finish provides both durability and style.

XMark plate loaded lat pulldown is made of 3 inch dura craft cushioning. The vinyl covering the seat and rollers is tear resistant. The nylon coated cables are aircraft quality, being tested to 2,200 pounds. You also get a diamond foot plate for seated rowing, that can be flipped out of the way for other exercises.

PROS

  • 400 pound weight capacity
  • 14 inch olympic plate adaptors
  • Aircraft quality cabling

CONS

  • Tall people may not be able to get a full stretch
Lat Machine Pulldown

The Akonza pull down exercise machine is a free standing unit that is solidly constructed from heavy gauge steel tubing and has a maximum free weight load capacity of 395 pounds. It has both high and low pulley stations so you can do seated rowing and cable curls as well as pulldowns. The pulley system is smooth sealed and features high spec ball bearings. This provides a very smooth operation.

The Akonza lat pulldown machine comes with a high and low bar. The foam rollers that lock you in position, are completely adjustable and comfortable. Textured rubber hand grips on the pulldown bar provide a secure grip. The seat height is also adjustable allowing you to get just the right range of motion.

PROS

  • 395 pound weight capacity
  • high and low pulley
  • smooth pulley operation

CONS

  • No foot plate
Power Rack Lat Pull Attachment

The Valor Power Rack makes our list of the best lat pulldown machines thanks to its high quality, solid and smooth lat pulldown attachment. You get both a high and low pulley with heavy duty pulleys and cables. The pudown is plate loaded, however the plates do not come with your purchase. The 2 inch by 2 inch, 12 gauge steel framing ensures that you get a very solid and secure lifting experience. The power rack also comes with a pull up bar to extend your back workout options. The only downside is that there is no built-in seat for doing lat pulldowns. 

PROS

  • Pull Up bar
  • High and low pulley
  • Heavy duty steel frame

CONS

  • No seat

Now that you know where to get the best lat pulldown machine, it’s time to fix some common lat pulldown errors that may be robbing you of gains. This handy clip will help you get it right . . .

Conclusion

Our favorite cable lat pulldown machine is the Ironman Triathlon X-Class light commercial lat pulldown, with its heavy gauge steel frame, capacity for both conventional and Olympic plates and compact, sturdy design. We also loved the Valor Fitness CB-12, which provides high spec cabling and bushes for the smoothest operation and has a durable, rugged frame.

Our favorite budget pulldown machine is the Family Lat / Row machine from New York Barbell, which gives you a solid frame, high and low pulleys and a smooth cable motion for well under two hundred dollars!

Best Cable Lat Pulldown Machines Review 2018
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